Corker Says U.S. Must Place Strong Sanctions On Russia; Sees Little Hope For Solving Nation's Debt Problem

Thursday, March 20, 2014 - by Hollie Webb

Speaking to the Chattanooga Rotary Club, United States Senator Bob Corker said, "We have four percent of the world's population but we benefit from 22 percent of the world's gross domestic product."

Senator Corker said this is why keeping stability throughout the world matters. The standard of living would be very different without trade and international commerce.

He said, "It's been fascinating that the American people really haven't cared much about Syria," and called the events that occurred there "one of the great tragedies of this century.

"

He also said that currently, "Ukraine is an interesting and very special issue." He described the history of the country, detailing when it broke away from the former Soviet Union.

He said, "Back in 1994, Ukraine had been the place where a big part of the Soviet Union's nuclear arsenal existed. We signed something called the Budapest Memorandum. We said if you give up your nuclear weapons, we will protect your sovereignty as a nation."

He also said, "It's been a 60-year policy of the United States that Europe is to be a free, whole, and democratic community."

However, he said he was not suggesting military force but strong economic sanctions against Russia. Currently, the United States does nearly $40 billion in trade with Russia each year, while the European Union does over $450 billion.

He said, "They can only survive through the sale of their fossil fuels."

He said Russian President Vladimir Putin had been unpopular until recent years. He said, "What people like him, autocrats, do, is when they're weak within their country, they find an external enemy."

He continued, "He doesn't want people inside Russia to see people moving toward a democratic society." Foreign policy advisors have said that if Ukraine became part of the European Union, it would likely have an effect on the Russian people, causing them to want a more democratic government.

He said, "This is a defining moment relative to our own credibility."

After discussing current foreign policy issues, Senator Corker also addressed the state of domestic issues in the United States.

He said, "I would like to solve the problems that we as a nation have right now," but that he saw "no evidence that we are going to deal with our fiscal situation anytime soon."

He described the country's economic situation regarding debt and inability to pay for entitlement programs as "a calamity in the making." One example he gave was Medicare, saying the amounts people paid into the program did not match with what it is spending.

He said, "People look at Washington and they're dismayed by the lack of progress." He pointed out that the divided state of Washington reflects how polarized the entire country is right now.

He said in terms of the debt, "People are not willing to make the changes that need to be made." He said for anything to be fixed, both Republicans and Democrats are going to have to "hold hands and jump, and the president is going to have to lead the charge. I don't know which president it's going to be."

When asked what his number one goal as a senator is, Senator Corker said, "My number one goal daily is to wake up everyday and to try and put in place policies that make this country stronger...In order to do that, you have to constantly work with people who have a different point of view...I wake up everyday and try to find that common ground."

 


New Chattanooga Railroad Book Will Feature 69 Chapters

A new book on Chattanooga's intriguing railroad history to be published by Chattanoogan.com will feature 69 chapters and cover rail history here and in surrounding towns. Railroads In and Around Chattanooga is due to be off the presses around the first of October. The book by Chattanoogan.com publisher John Wilson, with many photos by Chattanoogan.com photographer Wes ... (click for more)

Assessor Bennett, Former Assessor Ramsey In Jetton Camp For Assessor Of Property

Assessor of Property Bill Bennett and former Assessor Claude Ramsey recommended Sterling Jetton as the next assessor at a breakfast fundraiser at Wally's Restaurant in East Ridge on Saturday morning. Mr. Jetton, who spent 27 years in the assessor's office, is running against County Commissioner Marty Haynes in the March 1 Republican primary. Noting the political heavyweights ... (click for more)

DWT Is DUI

A routine narrative of a DUI arrest report goes something like this:   The defendant was operating a motor vehicle in the 00 block of sonsoroad. The driver was weaving back and forth across the marked roadway. The defendant drove through a stop sign. Was stopped at an intersection despite the traffic light was green. Entered the lane of another vehicle and caused a ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: What Voters Think

There are over 9,000 students who attend Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn., which – in an effort to be relative -- is just a touch smaller than our UT-Chattanooga. What makes Quinnipiac unique is that it is home of The Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, which produces what’s called the “Q Poll” because hardly anybody knows how to pronounce “Kwin-uh-pe-ack.” The Q ... (click for more)

Ellington, Bell Win First Running Of Jasper Highlands 5K

  JASPER, Tenn. – The Chattanooga Track Club introduced its newest race on Saturday as the inaugural running of the Jasper Highlands 5K was held high atop the Cumberland Plateau.   Advertised as “the most scenic community in Marion County,” Knoxville’s Stewart Ellington put his name on the list as the first winner by covering the rolling 3.1-mile distance in 16 ... (click for more)

Baylor Sweeps Two Nashville Teams In Volleyball Saturday

Volleyball teams from Brentwood Academy and Pope John Paul II have at least one thing in common on Saturday following matches with Baylor and GPS.  They both headed back to Nashville with a win and a loss as both beat GPS and both lost to Baylor. Baylor improved to 13-1 overall and 3-0 in region play with Saturday's two wins, including a 3-1 verdict over Brentwood ... (click for more)